Ver Angola


GDP exceeds population growth this year for the first time, estimates Government

The Government estimates that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should exceed population growth this year, if the Executive's expectations are met, which points to a forecast of 3.3 percent in 2023.

: Ampe Rogério/Lusa
Ampe Rogério/Lusa  

In an interview with Lusa in the week in which the General State Budget (OGE) for 2023 was generally approved, the Secretary of State for Finance and Treasury, Ottoniel dos Santos, outlined the general lines of the instrument that serves as a guiding guide of State revenues and expenditures this year, underlining that the focus is on the "effective improvement of economic conditions" in the country and living conditions.

The Finance officer said that the OGE aims to continue the projects that were not completed at the end of the previous mandate of the President, João Lourenço, (who was re-elected in the August 2022 elections) and focuses on strengthening the diversification of the economy.

Ottoniel dos Santos pointed out that the reforms made by the Executive – which faced several years of economic recession and the covid-19 pandemic from 2020 – allowed conditions "for a turnaround" and to maintain a positive GDP trajectory.

"In 2021, there was a growth of 0.7 percent. This year, above our expectations, we expect growth of close to 3 percent [2.7 percent] and we expect, with this budget, to guarantee growth that may, for the first time, be above the population growth rate [3 percent], around 3.3 percent," he told Lusa.

A growth that will be based on the oil sector (2.9 percent), but mainly on the non-oil sector (3.4 percent), he added.

The official admitted that this growth is not reflected, for the time being, in an improvement in the living conditions of Angolans, but stressed that the macroeconomic conditions are still being created to reduce inflation, the stability of the foreign exchange market and greater fiscal discipline.

"It should be complemented with the measures that are in the OGE and create bases for the real economy – the people – to be able to perceive a positive impact from these efforts that are being made by all Angolans", he said.

Also important is "deepening the measures so that the private sector can occupy a place that is relevant in the economy and allows the State to focus on its obligations", he added.

With volatile variables, such as the price and production of oil, "which are not controlled and cannot be controlled by the Executive", Ottoniel dos Santos highlighted that there are "risks", but that the Executive is attentive.

Asked about the need to create independent bodies for budget oversight, the Secretary of State considered that the National Assembly and the Court of Auditors already fulfill these functions.

"These institutions are autonomous and have full openness and capacity to analyze the reports that are prepared by the Ministry of Finance", he replied.

"We feel fully comfortable and we have enough elements so that the entire execution of the budget, including debt and other expenses that are made, can be monitored by these bodies", in the sense of making the execution of the OGE "fluid and aligned with the vision of these organizations", said the same official.

Until the final approval of the OGE (delayed in 2022, due to the elections held in August), Angola will have to live in twelfths, "which poses additional challenges", admitted Ottoniel dos Santos, taking into account that some budgetary units already have reduced funds.

The President approved an additional debt of 2.6 billion kwanzas until the entry into force of the 2023 General State Budget.

The proposal for the General State Budget (OGE) for 2023 was approved in general, last Monday, with votes against by UNITA's parliamentary group.

After heated debates, which lasted two days, the document was approved with 117 votes in favor of the majority party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the Humanist Party of Angola (PHA), 80 votes against from the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and four abstentions from the Social Renovation Party (PRS) and the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA).

During the discussions, with 51 interventions and 24 points of order, which led the President of the National Assembly, Carolina Cerqueira, to ask the deputies for serenity several times, exchanges of accusations were heard, criticism from the majority of opposition colleagues, more specifically from UNITA , for never approving the budget.

The OGE 2023 proposal presents estimated revenues and expenses of around 20.1 billion kwanzas, of which 13.4 billion kwanzas are tax revenue and 6.6 billion kwanzas are financial revenue.


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